Society lawyer Christopher Durant agrees to defend his friend Phil Siddall when Siddall is arrested for the murder of an ex-girlfriend. With the help of nightclub singer Pat Abbott and ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (screen play) | 3 more credits »
Reviews
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Flight Angels (1940)
Romance | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Federal Airlines ace pilot Chick Faber is grounded by Flight Superintendent Bill Graves when a doctor says his eyesight is failing. Aided by Mary Norvell and Nan Hudson, Graves persuades ... See full summary »

Director: Lewis Seiler
Stars: Virginia Bruce, Dennis Morgan, Wayne Morris
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Larson E. Whipsnade runs a seedy circus which is perpetually in debt. His performers give him nothing but trouble, especially Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Meanwhile, Whipsnade's son ... See full summary »

Directors: George Marshall, Edward F. Cline
Stars: W.C. Fields, Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

An attractive model with an ulterior motive volunteers as guinea pig for an invisibility machine.

Director: A. Edward Sutherland
Stars: Virginia Bruce, John Barrymore, John Howard
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

After Larry Darrent accidentally kills his lover's blackmailing husband, someone else is arrested for the crime. When he is found guilty, Larry and Wanda have just three weeks together ... See full summary »

Director: Basil Dean
Stars: Vivien Leigh, Leslie Banks, Laurence Olivier
Penthouse (1933)
Crime | Mystery | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Racketeer Tony Gazotti is thankful that lawyer Jackson Durant helps him beat a murder rap, but Durant just does it for the thrill of it and refuses payment. Durant's defense of mobsters ... See full summary »

Director: W.S. Van Dyke
Stars: Warner Baxter, Myrna Loy, Charles Butterworth
The Grim Game (1919)
Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Jailed unjustly for a murder he did not commit, a young man uses his amazing powers of escape to free himself and pursue the actual killers, who hold his fiancée captive.

Director: Irvin Willat
Stars: Harry Houdini, Thomas Jefferson, Ann Forrest
Dark Alibi (1946)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A public defender enlists Charlie to exonerate one of his clients, an ex-con falsely accused of bank robbery and murder, scheduled for execution in nine days.

Director: Phil Karlson
Stars: Sidney Toler, Mantan Moreland, Ben Carter
Certificate: Passed Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Wealthy socialite Elizabeth Flagg is courted by persistent Michael McLain, despite her protests that she is a married woman. McLain is just charming enough to attract Elizabeth into a ... See full summary »

Director: Leslie Fenton
Stars: Virginia Bruce, Walter Pidgeon, Lee Bowman
Certificate: Passed Crime | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Toni Bradley comes to New York City, from a small town in Iowa, to take over her late father's estate and sporting business, which is primarily gambling on sports events, with a lot of the ... See full summary »

Director: George B. Seitz
Stars: Robert Taylor, Virginia Bruce, Pinky Tomlin
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Assistant District Attorney Stephen Forbes, an impressive orator with a long list of convictions, resigns when an innocent boy is convicted and the real murderer confesses too late. He ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Sherman
Stars: George Brent, Virginia Bruce, Brenda Marshall
Certificate: Passed Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Seeing her chance, 25-year-old heiress (Virginia Bruce) flees from her over-protective grandfather with none of her fortune in her purse. On the streets of New York, she is befriended by a ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Z. McLeod
Stars: Fredric March, Virginia Bruce, Patsy Kelly
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

From Arnold Bennett's novel "Buried Alive". An artist returning from years abroad takes the identity of his dead valet to escape the attentions of the press.

Director: John M. Stahl
Stars: Monty Woolley, Gracie Fields, Laird Cregar
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Pat Abbott
Leo Carrillo ...
Tony Gazotti
...
Jim Crelliman
...
Phil Siddall
Frances Mercer ...
Sue Leonard
Ann Morriss ...
Judy Barton
Herbert Mundin ...
Layton
Frank M. Thomas ...
Lieutenant Stevens
Edward Brophy ...
Max (as Edward S. Brophy)
Tom Kennedy ...
Alf
Clarence Kolb ...
Mr. Leonard
Pierre Watkin ...
Henry V. Adams
...
Schmidt
Paul Guilfoyle ...
Murtock
Edit

Storyline

Society lawyer Christopher Durant agrees to defend his friend Phil Siddall when Siddall is arrested for the murder of an ex-girlfriend. With the help of nightclub singer Pat Abbott and crime boss Tony Gazotti (a former client), Durant launches his own investigation of the murder in order to prove his friend's innocence. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

MURDER! ROMANCE! INTRIGUE! PENTHOUSE SIREN DIES AS KILLER STRIKES 40 STORIES ABOVE PARK AVENUE (original poster-all caps) See more »


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

21 March 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Penthouse  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

A plagiarism suit was filed by Robert Brister and Harry T. Bliven against the use of the title, but it was dismissed by the court. See more »

Connections

Remake of Penthouse (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm In Love with the Honorable Mr So & So
(1939)
Music and Lyrics by Sam Coslow
Played during the opening credits, the end credits and as background music often
Sung by Virginia Bruce (uncredited) in a nightclub
Reprised a cappella by her in Durant's apartment
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Did MGM plan a series out of this?
11 October 2005 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

I just saw this film on TCM and it was a pretty good product from MGM's B picture unit. Walter Pidgeon was stepping into Bill Powell's shoes as a slick society lawyer.

Pidgeon is a properly WASP attorney in what would now be called a white shoe law firm. But he has a taste for criminal law that doesn't sit well with the other members of his firm, including his prospective father-in-law. They agree to part professionally and later on Pidgeon's fiancé breaks off the engagement.

That sets off a series of events that has the fiancé's former boy friend on trial for shooting a girl he dumps. At that point Pidgeon's services suddenly become in great demand.

It really looked like this was a series that Walter Pidgeon may have been slated for. Playing his butler was Herbert Mundin who is always very funny. This was the last film that Herbert Mundin ever did, he was killed in automobile crash shortly after this film was made. Some of the incidents in the film with Mundin and Pidgeon are pretty funny as are those with Mundin and Virginia Bruce. He would have been an integral character in a running series. I'll bet that's why a series never developed.

Some of the plot was a bit too coincidental for my taste. Still the players are all good in this. Besides Pidgeon and Mundin, Virginia Bruce is a nightclub chanteuse who's introduced to Pidgeon by former gangster client Leo Carrillo who has a key role in solving the case. Lee Bowman is the framed society boyfriend, Eduardo Ciannelli is another gangster, Ann Morriss is the murder victim and Tom Kennedy and Edward Brophy play a pair of inept bodyguards that Carrillo sends to watch Pidgeon's back.

The film is a remake of MGM's earlier film Penthouse and since this one was now done under the Code, some of the innuendo of the older film has been left out.

For a film entitled Society Lawyer there isn't one courtroom scene. Still this looked like a promising film series, stillborn.


10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Meant to be a Series? kelkyl
Discuss Society Lawyer (1939) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?